Monday, 30 August 2010

Crosmans, cross men & cross purposes...

I was reading an air guns for sale forum today, idly looking for a pistol that I don't really need. I came across a post by someone who'd just advertised the sale of a Crosman:

Poster A: for sale crosman 2240 .22cal in perfect condition has only had 6 c02 Powerlets in it. i will also put in 6 powerlets and the case £60 posted

The first response was this:

Poster B: What sort of power is this will this kill pigeons or rabbits ?

The advertiser replied:

Poster A: I have no idea only used it on targets, it is quite powerful though they are advertised as legal limit air pistols.

At this point, a moderator intervened in the thread:

Poster C: No, you don't hunt with a pistol, you have been a member long enough to know.

The second poster replied to this:

Poster B: Why don't you shush, you rude git, I didn't ask for your advice!

I paraphrase this last post because when I went back to check on what he'd actually written I found that it'd been deleted and a further post left by a second moderator:

Poster D: The poster concerned has received a 6 month ban for being abusive to an Admin/Moderator. The charge of crass stupidity is left on file. As you were.

OK then: a small online drama - no big deal.

But it's still interesting I think because the question that the second poster actually asked was this, 'will this gun kill pigeons or rabbits?' and not 'should this gun be used to hunt pigeons or rabbits?'.

If, after walking up to and sitting down beside a wild rabbit, you carefully rested the muzzle of a loaded and cocked Crosman 2250 pistol to its temple and then pulled the trigger the result would be a dead rabbit. I'd go so far as to swear that every single time you managed to successfully accomplish this utterly miraculous feat you'd get a dead rabbit as the end product. So the answer to the question 'can you kill a rabbit with a Crosman 2250?' is, I'd say, 'yes; yes you certainly could'.

'Should you try to kill rabbits with this gun?' or 'Is it likely that you could hunt rabbits successfully with this gun?' or even 'Is it right to hunt rabbits with this gun?' all of those are all perfectly good questions - but they're different questions.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sat in a nettlesome hedge beneath a tree for a fair old while today (after pigeons) and... nowt. Bugger all. Nothing.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wot I did yesterday (Stone, Rosemary, Shooting, Braising)...

I cycled fifteen miles yesterday in the hope of turning up some shoes in one of the copious charity shops of the nearby well-heeled burg, Stone. No luck for footwear but it was a beautiful day, the countryside on the way was heavenly and the supermarket there had, in addition to a pile of reduced polenta - which I plundered - verdant surrounding hedges entirely of sweet-smelling rosemary (which I therefore also plundered).

I went straight out to the fields when I got back and - small miracle - within twenty minutes was walking home again with a large rabbit.

I've been following the Silver Spoon tip about soaking recently: just give the meat a half-hour soak in a litre of water with, say, half a cup of white wine vinegar. This seems to freshen the meat up a good deal and lessens the initial cooking smells.

I'm really a convert to braising with garlic and rosemary - it's so good. I use a pressure cooker, with the heat low and the lid not quite locked on. If time's running short I lock the lid on and give it a quick blast under pressure just to loosen the meat on the bone before dishing it out. Lord, it's good.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Braised Rabbit with Rosemary - The Silver Spoon

Got one rabbit - not a huge one - this afternoon and then made towards the gate for home. Got there and thought: 'well, a friend of mine might be coming over for dinner tonight - and one small rabbit's just not going to be enough...'.

Walked back into the field again; five minutes later, got another one.

Pleased, I sat at home and read a little of the gigantic, twelve-hundred-page Italian cookery book - The Silver Spoon - that I got for two squid from a charity shop this afternoon (with a cheap watch too - thanks to which I know that it's now exactly 7:19pm!).

Looking out the window, I saw that the weather'd got a deal more lively since I got back home: strong winds, rain - and rainbows.

Reading in 'The Silver Spoon' about 'Braised Rabbit with Rosemary'; I've never tried braising before - so let's give it a go.

Stuff the cavities with sprigs of rosemary, a clove of garlic, a little butter, some olive oil, splash some more oil in the pan, season with salt and pepper and - so that the meat more or less steams in its own herb-and-oil-infused juices - cook it on a low heat in a sealed pan for an hour and a half or until it's falling-off-the-bone ready.

Sounds pretty good, anyway.

Just finished off the last of yesterday's red. Vowed I wouldn't get another bottle tonight. One more vow on the way to being broken? We'll see.

Yep, thoroughly broken; picked up a cheeky Tempranillo along with some spuds at the Co-op. Thought about some green veg - but no, bugger it. Made some good gravy with fried red onions, the braising liquid and the finely chopped liver and kidney from the two rabbits.

I may now have to change the name of this blog to 'The Braised Rabbit'. It really was that good - tremendously moist, fragrant and tasty. I was remembering a while back saying - all earnest - 'don't cook rabbit in olive oil!' Well, I take it back, it's fine. In fact, done this way at least, it's superb.